Recently border states received an influx of unaccompanied minor migrants, resulting in over 50,000 undocumented children who are now residing in the U.S. awaiting deportation trials. My initial reaction to this news was that our immigration system is not working (in fact, our current laws are over 50 years old). The Border Patrol cannot keep up with those crossing the border unlawfully, and our current visa system fails to provide ways for many people to come here safely and legally.
But my other reaction was that of compassion. Like most human beings, a lot of these undocumented minors are motivated by fear and hope. Most are from Latin American countries where violence and poverty are rampant; thus, the hope for economic opportunities, and for some, reunions with loved ones already across the border, cause them to journey across the desert.
As a Christian, I am compelled, even commanded in Scripture, to care for immigrants. But the Bible is also clear that Christians should respect the rule of law and those in authority. I think this tension between compassion and justice is at the heart of the child migration politics. Personally, I am ready for immigration reform that incorporates both.
OLIVIA HICKS, Nampa